Monday, July 5, 2010

New World Order after 11/9

A pivot point came with Bush’s 11 September 1990 “Toward a New World Order” speech to a joint session of Congress. This time it was Bush, not Gorbachev, whose idealism was compared to Woodrow Wilson, and to FDR at the creation of the UN. Key points picked up in the press were: Commitment to US strength, such that it can lead the world toward rule of aw, rather than use of force. The Gulf crisis was seen as a reminder that the US must continue to lead, and that military strength does matter, but that the resulting new world order should make military force less important in the future. Soviet-American partnership in cooperation toward making the world safe for democracy, making possible the goals of the UN for the first time since its inception. Some countered that this was unlikely, and that ideological tensions would remain, such that the two superpowers could be partners of convenience for specific and limited goals only. The inability of the USSR to project force abroad was another factor in scepticism toward such a partnership. Another caveat raised was that the new world order was based not on US-Soviet cooperation, but really on Bush-Gorbachev cooperation, and that the personal diplomacy made the entire concept exceedingly fragile. Future cleavages were to be economi, not ideological, with the First and Second world cooperating to contain regional instability in the Third World. Russia could become an ally against economic assaults from Asia, Islamic terrorism, and drugs from Latin America. Soviet integration into world economic institutions, such as the G7, and establishment of ties with the European Community. Restoration of German sovereignty and Cambodia’s acceptance of the UN Security Council’s peace plan on the day previous to the speech were seen as signs of what to expect in the new world order The re-emergence of Germany and Japan as members of the great powers, and concomitant reform of the UN Security Council was seen as necessary for great power cooperation and reinvigorated UN leadership Europe was seen as taking the lead on building their own world order, while the US was relegated to the sidelines. The rationale for US presence on the continent was vanishing, discussing the European Community, the CSCE, and relations with the USSR. Gorbachev even proposed an all-European security council to replace the CSCE, in effect superseding the increasingly irrelevant NATO. A very few postulated a bi-polar new order of US power and UN moral authority, the first as global policeman, the second as global judge and jury. The order would be collectivist, in which decisions and responsibility would be shared.

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